As usual, Bowe took to TikTok to answer some of her followers’ most pressing questions, this time about how long it takes to really repair the skin barrier. First, she notes, “It actually has to do with how damaged the skin barrier is.” Don’t worry, she gives examples to follow.
The perfect example of a severely damaged skin barrier is sunburn. Think about it: your skin may be red, peeling, burning and maybe even itchy. Bowe explains, “You can even apply something as gentle as a fragrance-free moisturizer designed for eczema, and it’ll sting and burn.” This reaction alone is a telltale sign of serious damage to the barrier.
When your barrier is in this state, it will take at least a few days to heal, Bowe explains. A slightly damaged barrier, on the other hand, will heal much faster. You’ll know your barrier is slightly compromised if it’s red, sensitized to your regular skincare products, or has trouble retaining moisture.
This type of damage is usually caused by dehydration of the skin, excessive exfoliation, excessive use of a retinoid, etc. Fortunately, Bowe says, you may be able to repair the damage in about an hour if you use ultra-hydrating products.
Not sure which products to use? Well, everyone’s skin is different, but in this case, it might be worth thinking about what not utilize. Stay away from exfoliating ingredients of any kind (whether physical or chemical), acids, retinoids, fragrances, and essential oils.
A gold star repair product for the face: Bowe Glow Microbiome Nourishing Cream from Bowe’s own skincare line. (The “Bowe Glow” is real.) “We found that after just one application, within an hour, we were able to repair the skin barrier.” Pretty impressive, right? When it comes to body care, check out our list of barrier-supporting body lotions.
Whichever product you decide to use for hydration, remember to stay out of the sun and stick to gentle, hydrating, fragrance-free formulas. As Bowe says, “Less is more until your barrier recovers.”